UNH Astrophysicists Create First Web-based Tool for Predicting Space Radiation Risks

UNH Astrophysicists Create First Web-based Tool for Predicting Space Radiation Risks

Oct 24, 2012

Astrophysicists from UNH’s Space Science Center (SSC) have created the first online system for predicting and forecasting the radiation environment in near-Earth, lunar, and Martian space environments. The near real-time tool will provide critical information as preparations are made for potential future manned missions to the moon and Mars.

Associate professor of physics Nathan Schwadron of the UNH Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space (EOS), which houses the SSC, is the lead developer of the new web-based tool known as PREDICCS.

Made possible through NASA’s Living With A Star (LWS) Targeted Research and Technology program, PREDICCS, for the first time, integrates numerical models of space radiation, a host of real-time measurements being made by satellites currently in space, and “propagation codes” that can accurately project radiation levels out as far as Mars.

The PREDICCS website, http://prediccs.sr.unh.edu/, provides a data access point for data generated by the Earth-Moon-Mars Radiation Environment Module (EMMREM) as well as information on how the tool works and how to interpret the various graphs of radiation dosage. 

Note’s Schwadron, “For the first time people are able to see the affects of space radiation playing out in near real-time, and this opens a new window to an otherwise invisible world.”

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The Prediccs Project is supported by NSF/FESD Sun-to-Ice project (grant number AGS1135432), the NASA-NSF/LWS/EMMREM project (grant number NNX07AC14G) and NASA LRO/CRaTER/PREDICCs project (contract number NNG11PA03C).

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